National / Science & Health

Exercise with music helps keep dementia from worsening, study says


Researchers from Mie University in Tsu, Mie Prefecture, said they have found that physical exercise combined with music is more effective in preventing dementia from worsening than solving calculation problems.

Associate professor Masayuki Sato, who leads the research team, also said that exercising with music helps dementia patients maintain daily activities more than exercise alone.

The team asked 31 people with mild to moderate symptoms of dementia living in the towns of Mihama and Kiho to conduct 40 minutes of exercise to music once a week for six months. They sat on a chair and bent and stretched their arms and waists and stamped their feet along with pop music with varying tempos.

The team said those who participated in the program managed to maintain their physical activity level regarding daily routines, including changing clothes, eating and taking a bath, better than another group of 31 dementia patients who were only engaged in brain training exercises such as playing games and solving math problems.

“We believe that exercising along with music proved highly effective because it is more complicated than just moving your body,” Sato said.